NBA: Grizzlies blast Magic behind Ja Morant’s 33 points
Ja Morant scored 22 of his 33 points during Memphis’ 76-point first half, Jaren Jackson Jr. finished with 21 points and the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the host Orlando Magic 135-115 on Saturday night.
Morant, who was listed as questionable for the game with right foot soreness, made 14-of-21 shots to go along with seven assists, five rebounds and two blocked shots. Center Steven Adams (6-for-6 shooting) nearly posted a triple-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists as Memphis won for the fifth time in the last six games.
Morant’s 33 points were the most by a Grizzlies player against the Magic, eclipsing the previous record of 32 held by Rudy Gay (2007) and Tyreke Evans (2017). The first-time All-Star posted his last four points on dunks, including a massive one-handed slam inside the last minute of the third quarter.
— NBA (@NBA) February 6, 2022
Memphis entered the game ranked first in points in the paint with a 56.6 average and the Grizzlies dominated in that area, outscoring the Magic 68-34. The Grizzlies led by as many as 31 points in the third quarter before heading into the final period ahead 108-81.
De’Anthony Melton (16 points) made four 3-pointers and Ziaire Williams (11 points) hit three triples as the Grizzlies finished 13-for-39 from beyond the arc. Brandon Clarke (eight rebounds) and Tyus Jones also had 10 points apiece off the bench.
Orlando’s Cole Anthony scored 17 of his 22 points in the first half. Jalen Suggs recorded 17 points, Franz Wagner had 15 points and Ignas Brazdeikis totaled 13 points in 16 minutes off the bench.
The Magic attempted 48 triples and made 17 with Gary Harris (10 points), Suggs and Wagner all hitting three apiece.
Wendell Carter Jr. added 12 points and 10 rebounds for Orlando. Magic center Mo Bamba also recorded three blocks to pass Tracy McGrady for sole possession of seventh place on Orlando’s all-time list.
The Grizzlies shot 56.6 percent (30-for-53) in the first half en route to a 76-56 halftime lead. Memphis took control with a 14-0 run late in the first quarter, while the advantage ballooned to 25 points on Melton’s triple with 1:11 remaining in the second period.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.